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Ban on crowds to curb COVID-19 pandemic from becoming an epidemic but how about factory workers?

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Garment workers travel to work by remork moto at Chak Angre Krom. Close proximity, far from ideak hygiene makes them vulnerable. KT

The government has effectively banned many forms of gathering of more than 10 people to curb the spread of COVID-19 which seems to be under control for the past few days.

People are wondering whether this is just the lull before the story with a new wave of infections being tested positive or has the curve been flattened.

To be fair, the infection rates in Cambodia has been low compared to neighboriung countries except for Lao and Myanmar. However, this is not the indicator as there isn’t sufficient information on testing such as how many tests administered and on how many patients, total testing to date, and number of tests compared to number of patients.

Amid all this, factory workers are daily being packed into various modes of transportation such as vans, trucks and even small tractors with a trailer attached. What about these workers? They are working in a tinder box environment, travel to and fro to work in a vehicle which is packed worse than sardines.

They are at high risks as most of them have contact with their families in the provinces and live in quite insavoury and unhygienic conditions, packed 5 to 10 people in a small room with hardly any ventilation.

What is being done to ensure that they are not exposed to the pandemic? If there is a single case, thousands in the factory could be at risk.

The Government should seriously look into this as well as their plans to curb travel during the forthcoming Khmer New Year celebrations as this makes it an ideal tinderbox for the next wave of massive infections.

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